Category Archives: Arizona

The Importance of Religious Pluralism in the Journey of the Soul

Not sure why, but I’m seeing an upsurge in the frequency of people becoming more hostile about their religion being right and everyone else being wrong (and even for the people who aren’t making a big deal out of it, there is a certain ‘my religion is better than your religion’ arrogance in lots of groups, and it just feels like its getting worse).  And I’m not just talking about the psycho-fringe here (or I’m really underestimating the size of said “fringe”).  I always find this a puzzling concept.  Sure there are a few really insane beliefs out there–mostly the ones that dictate ‘my way or else I’ll kill you!’–but for the most part, most religions all have the same core values and differ only in forms, names, and rituals.  And quibbling over these relatively minor issues is pointless. First off most of these people who want to scream for their own religion and no others seem politically motivated (I’ve seen all sides engage in this religious idiocy) given that it only alienates people away from your political causes.  Further, reason doesn’t hold this up?   I mean, do you seriously believe that God, a being of supposed infinite love, compassion, understanding and wisdom, cares about what ritual you use to get closer to him, rather than if you actually get closer to him or not?

And it’s not just implicit in reason, recent scientific research into reincarnation and near-death experience also demonstrate this. Scientific studies have shown that reincarnation is a fact and that you change from religion to religion based on your life—if that’s the case it can’t be that God loves one religion and hates all others.  Similar studies have also shown that during near death experiences everybody goes to heaven, doesn’t matter what their religion is…it’s almost as if God doesn’t give a shit what name you call him by.

potala palace lhasa

The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet…it seemed like a place both remote and spiritual enough to serve as the starting place for the soul.

So does this mean that all religions are worthless?  That there is just God and his children and it doesn’t matter what you believe…not exactly.   Now, with that knowledge of near death experiences and reincarnation studies, it seems to be that the majority of religions are correct, that life is a series of rebirths, a progression of lessons and stages of learning all leading to Enlightenment…but that still doesn’t invalidate the idea that you should follow the religion you feel called to. If the soul is on a journey toward Enlightenment, let’s think of it as a journey.   For the sake of metaphor let’s say all souls start out standing in the Potala Palace in Lhasa.  High in the Himalayas, disconnected from the rest of the world.  And you know you have to get somewhere (Enlightenment) you have had it roughly described to you, but you don’t quite know where you are going or exactly how to get there.

How you get there would be comparable to the mode of transportation you take.  Some ways like Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, New Age belief and modern Paganism might be equivalent to walking, taking a bike, a boat, a car or a plane*, other religions maybe more like trying a unicycle with a flat tire, spinning in a circle believing you will magically teleport, digging through the center of the earth using a rusty spoon or launching yourself into orbit using high explosives and hoping you land in the right place. ** While in the minority there are religions that are all but useless in all cases…however most religions are more dependent on where you are in your journey. In this example if one religion is equivalent to riding in a car and you’ve hit the Pacific Ocean, it may have gotten you to this point but you need a different mode of transportation (a different belief system) to advance on the next stage of your journey.

Devil’s Bridge, Sedona, Arizona

Now for the sake of argument in this travel metaphor let’s say that Enlightenment exists at the Devil’s Bridge in Northern Arizona (chosen for the fact that it is beautiful, and the irony was just too good to pass up).

Now to get from our stating place in Tibet and ending place in Arizona there is no way a single mode of transportation is going to cut it the whole way.  You are at best going to have to walk part of the way, either take a boat or plane part of the way, and probably have to travel in some other forms of transportation for part of the journey.

The Journey of the Soul Metaphor

If only the journey of the soul was this short a distance.

Let’s add to the fact that you’re not always sure where you’re headed.  Granted as long as you’re moving you may be getting closer, or at least have a better chance to learn where the right place is as opposed to the stupidity of staying still, but that still doesn’t always mean you’re moving in the right direction (as some religions that could be used to progress can be misused to put you further away from God…Westboro come to mind).

You could use this metaphor for a lot of things, and show it flawed in numerous other ways.  I just want to show that even on a journey you may use different modes of transportation, as different religions may serve different souls on their journey to Enlightenment.

And my overall point here is that reason tells you God is too perfect a being to care what name you call him by or what rituals you go through to honor him, it’s silly to think that one religion is the right one and all others are false.  Yes there are some blindingly stupid beliefs out there, and there may be beliefs that are wrong for you in your life (take a car when you’re on the ocean) but just because your religious beliefs work for you don’t assume they would work for everyone. The most you can do is ask if you find that your beliefs are leading you to God (if they are, bully for you) and if someone else’s beliefs could never in any way, shape, or form lead a person to God (a religion that calls for stoning people in the 21st century for instance) and oppose those vile beliefs will all your heart and soul.

So even if you aren’t decrying that your religion is better than all others, it might also be best to not always believe that (I know some will think I’m only critiquing Christians here, but really this my religion is better than your religion arrogance can be found in almost every religion)…your beliefs may be exactly what you personally need in your journey right now, but don’t believe that your beliefs will work for everyone at every time.

sedona rainbow

you can never have too many random pictures of Sedona

*Try not to match those up, the religions are in more or less chronological order and the modes of transportation are more or less random.

** I may or may not have had Scientology, Atheism, Keynesianism (it denies basic reality so much and requires so much be taken on faith it’s pretty much a cult) come to mind here…oh and I can’t think what religion I had in mind when I mentioned strapping high explosives to yourself…certainly not a religion of peace.  Not everyone following those beliefs is stuck at a stand still, it’s just highly, highly unlikely they’re going to be making a major push forward in that life.  And this is the balance to an acceptance of other beliefs, admitting that there are some really dumb beliefs out there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Books for New Agers, Faith, Free Will, God, Individualism, Love, New Age, philosophy, Prayer, Reincarnation, Religion, Spirituality, virtue

Most Patriotic Movies Ever #10 How the West Was Won

We begin the Top 10 Patriotic films with one of the better westerns ever made…

(old trailers are always interesting)

“This land has a name today, and is marked on maps. But, the names and the marks and the maps all had to be won, won from nature and from primitive man.[…] The west that was won by its pioneers, settlers, adventurers is long gone now. Yet it is theirs forever, for they left tracks in history that will never be eroded by wind or rain – never plowed under by tractors, never buried in compost of events. Out of the hard simplicity of their lives, out of their vitality, of their hopes and sorrows grew legends of courage and pride to inspire their children and their children’s children. From soil enriched by their blood, out of their fever to explore and be, came lakes where once there were burning deserts – came the goods of the earth; mine and wheat fields, orchards and great lumber mills. All the sinews of a growing country. Out of their rude settlements, their trading posts came cities to rank among the great ones of the world. All the heritage of a people free to dream, free to act, free to mold their own destiny.”

An epic film that spans three generations of American pioneers from the early days of westward expansion along the Erie Canal circa 1840 to the waning days of the West in Arizona circa the late 1870’s early 1880’s. The story is broken up into 5 parts telling the story of the farmers who traveled into what is now the Midwest to start a new life, of the wagon trains hell bent on gold in California, of the Civil War which seemed to halt westward expansion for a bloody moment, of the coming of the railroad which joined both halves of the nation and heralded the end of the wilderness, and finally of the last days of lawlessness in what was left of the West.  Every stage is shown to be filled with victories and loss, but each stage brings about something greater than what came before it.  From the earliest mountain men who first ventured east to the Marshalls who brought law and civilization to the wilderness, all of the characters are exemplars of what makes America what it is.

Patriotism or not it’s a great film.  It is the kind of all star epic that Hollywood doesn’t seem to make anymore.   Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Fonda, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, to name a few but not all of the stars in this film, and to top it all off the narration of Spencer Tracy.  It’s kind of hard to top that…oh wait John Ford directed part of it.  Okay it’s kind of hard to top that.

But what makes this film patriotic?

Well first it is the simple story of who Americans are.  No matter what problems they are dealt, be it being literally stabbed in the back, literally going down the rapids without a paddle, war, Indians, stampeding Buffalo or being shot at, the heroes of this film always not only recover but pick themselves up and achieve a better life than anything they had before their temporary miseries.  They look at disaster, shrug it off and succeed in spite of misfortune and always with a constant stream of optimism….or as one character put it, “We made and spent fortunes together.  If he’d lived a little longer, we’d have made and spent another.”

Nothing could better exemplify what the heart of America was at its best. Yes, other nations have people who act like this, and other nations have had their day….but what is different about America is that other nations build themselves up to a great power, dominate for a while, fall and never seem to come back…America has been knocked down time (we started out as a bunch of rejects, criminals and unwanted) and time (crushing blows during early years of the Revolutionary War) and time (having our capital burned to the ground in the War of 1812) and time (a horrific Civil War…do I need to keep going?) again.  Any one of these events would crush most nations for all time, (remind me how long ago it was that Sparta conquered Athens, that Rome fell, that France was a nation worth giving a care about?) yet Americans don’t just recover from adversity, we thrive on it.  In a perverse way, as a nation, we embody the idea that what does not kill us only makes us stronger (which I guess will mean the term of 45th president will be the strongest years in American history). In this movie and in reality nothing seems to stop Americans from growing and getting better, even their own worst moments.

I could go on, there are a hundred little moments that I could discuss, but I think you would get a better impression watching it yourself than having me relate them.

“But that’s what I like about this country.  There’s always greener grass over the next hill.”

Not to spoil the ending,but the scenic views are breathtaking…

2 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Arizona, Art, Conservative, Faith, Free Will, Individualism, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Patriotism, politics

Idiot Legislatures, Bullies, Unions, and a dish best served cold…

So as much as I love my state of Arizona, it is becoming very apparent that the current state legislature is out of its mind. Not only passing two socially “conservative” laws that require a combined IQ in the low single digits (doubly stupid that they did it in an election year, triply stupid that they played right into Obama’s plan to make social issues an issue of this election…thanks morons) they decided to follow that up with a 1st Amendment violating censorship law. Ostensibly it is supposedly to help stop bullying, but in addition to making a mountain of the latest molehill of an overly protective society, this has to be one of the worst laws I’ve ever seen.

 

It’s updating an old law and replacing the word telephone with “any electronic or digital device.” This would be bad enough as it doesn’t update any language to only mean communication from one person to another. However ignoring that new technology requires new definitions, the law originally was kind of stupid.

“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone […]”

I understand the intent of the law, to make harassment a criminal offense. But “annoy”? Good lord, I should stop paying my bills as any bill collector calling me would clearly be annoying and I could have them arrested. “Offend”? Oh I can’t wait for the next dipshit Democrat to call me asking polling questions. Their beliefs clearly offend me and as Obama is clearly in a criminal conspiracy with them (as defined by Arizona law) this will be fun. Yes my examples are preposterous, but so is the wording of the laws.

Or that it forbids one to “use any obscene, lewd or profane language.” Profane? Really? Profane is a religious concept and the government has no right to legislate my words in a religious sense, be they sacred or profane.

So, by the letter of the law the state of Arizona is about to outlaw the use of the internet. As I do not consider it a full day without annoying someone via blog, twitter, or Facebook, I am a repeat offender against this statute…and I dare any wanna-be Gestapo (previously known as Arizona police) to come and arrest me. I will have so much fun suing you personally and the state as a whole for multiple civil and Constitutional rights violations. Not only will it be great free publicity for the blog and my book, but I figure I will be able to retire off the settlement alone. So I dare you fucking stupid excuses for public figures (obscene, check, intent to annoy and harass, check) to come arrest me. Idiots.

Now in practice we know that this isn’t going to go anywhere as both the ACLU and every right wing legal group will eviscerate anyone who tries to enforce this on a legitimate use of free speech (like I said I understand the original intent of the law, but the wording is just shit for brains), but let’s deal with the reason why they didn’t update the part of it being individual to individual communication. To help stop bullying.

Are you kidding me? Once again because people don’t want to act like adults we are choosing to delegate all authority to government, who will inevitably, as always, makes things worse. At least I’m not the only one who thinks that the media hype over bullying might be more media than reality.

 

Now, yes there are some terrible cases where we get to see how vicious children can be…but you know what? This is not because there is a lack of laws, it’s because there is a lack of adults. Children should be encouraged to deal with things on their own when they can (something drilled out of them by being told to tattle to an adult the minute a single insult is hurled) and go seek help from friends and adults when it’s more than they can handle…and maybe educated to know the difference. One thing I notice in almost every case of extreme bullying from the media is a lack of adults. Now parents may bear some responsibility here for not being open with their children and making it known to them that they can come to them with problems, but that isn’t always the case; we all know our parents are sometimes the last people we want to take our problems to. However what I do notice in a lot of these cases is that teachers seem to be utterly absent. I’m a teacher, and I know it’s not hard to know what’s going on in student’s lives. Teacher’s thrive on the student rumor mill (because it’s the only life we have time to have) and while one teacher may not know everything I guarantee you a competent staff knows more about student’s personal lives than even the most well informed student (probably because we don’t limit ourselves to knowing only about a few select cliques) and so teachers have no excuse for not knowing if a student is being harassed. (Especially when you set up a work only account of Facebook and twitter and get your students to add you—you would be shocked at how quickly they forget you can see everything they post). And I am not the warmest of teachers, I play more into “tough but fair” rather than “everybody’s friend” but I would like to think that I always made it known that my students could come to me if they needed an ear or shoulder. And it is more the purview of a good principal to find good teachers who are competent and qualified to offer students support when they need it—not the purview of the legislature. Although since we don’t always have good teachers, I would wager that if you were to chart which states offer the teacher’s unions the most unimpeded power against which have the most instances of truly vicious and inhuman levels of bullying you would see a heavy correlation between union presence and poor support from teachers. After all if there is one set of organizations out there responsible for poor teacher’s it’s the teacher’s union.

And since we’re on the topic, I would be remiss in mentioning there is also the two other ways to deal with bullies. The first being the wise adage, “Never start a fight, but always finish them.” This being probably the best advice that the best way to deal with bullies is go on to be successful and makes massive amounts of money while the bullies never amount to anything. Perhaps with your success and piles of cash you could even make a music video to rub in your success in a wonderfully cold dish, as the Queen of Comicon, Felicia Day seems to have done.

 


It’s called taking the high road.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions

Snatching Defeat From Jaws of Victory: Republican’s idiotic obsession with social issues

I believe in liberty for all, capitalism, a Classically Liberal republic of limited government that combines to make this nation (and any other that follows those principles) the shinning city on the hill for others to look to as the model. Which is why, for better or worse, I am a Republican.  The Libertarians don’t believe in the first or last point  (they seem to think the rights listed in the Declaration end at the border and if another country has a genocidal dictator that’s none of our business), the Democrats abhor the two in the middle.  But the Republican Party stands for all of them.  And every time we run on those principles we win.  Coolidge, Nixon (even though he didn’t believe in them), Reagan (go on, tell me which social issues he made a focus of his campaign…none), the Contract with America (the closest it came to social issues was dealing with the marriage tax and tax credits for care of the elderly and adoption, it dealt entirely with money and the size of government).  Every time we run on expanding the government we lose.  Hoover, George H.W. Bush (read his lips, more taxes), Ford, Dole, McCain.  The two major exceptions being Nixon the first time (and we can blame that on how he looks without makeup and Joe Kennedy buying a lot of votes) and Goldwater (where the economic moderates and big government Republicans actively backstabbed their own candidate).

But overall there is a simple rule: Economically Conservative Republicans win. Economically Moderate Republicans lose.  (Certainly not once can I remember an economic liberal and social conservative win).

But, more and more, the Republican Party wants to press social issues?  Why?  Conservative economics and foreign policy are winners with the American public…liberal stances on those mixed with big government behavior for social issues is always a loser.  And I don’t mean just Santorum, there are a lot of “socially conservative” issues out there that are actually taking aim at our economic conservatism and I don’t understand why Republicans are so eager to hype the weakest issues and the ones that will cause us to lose.

Now full disclosure, I am a social moderate.  I don’t want the government in my wallet, my business or my capitalist transactions nor do I want them in my bedroom, my marriage or my doctor’s office.  I believe in small government (and unlike pro-tyranny Libertarians I think that’s a human right not an American right…yeah Libertarians are really pissing me off too lately, can you tell?).  But apparently some in the GOP don’t know that we’re the party of small government, not just the party of small government in the economy.

And it’s getting bad.   Even my beloved Heritage Foundation is saying stupid things like “As conservatives, it is important to remember that social issues are central to preserving the Principles of the Founding Fathers.”  Uh-huh, looking to the Founders for social conservatives.  Ben Franklin who never married the mother of his child but lived with her in sin for most of his life.  Thomas Jefferson, and probably most of the Sothern contingent, and their pro-raping the slaves practices.  John and Abigail “let’s abandon our children to the care of others for almost a decade” Adams.  Alexander Hamilton who had an affair with another man’s wife. They were all heavy drinkers and Franklin was not the only libertine among them. Now don’t get me wrong, I admire these people to the ends of the Earth, but I don’t mistake greatness for sainthood (one, John Dickenson, I think should have been treated to a short drop and a sudden stop for his behavior at the signing of the Declaration and Constitution).  But don’t just take my word for it.  Go look at some real conservative authors like Larry Schweikart’s What Would the Founders Say?  or W. Cleon Skousen’s The Five Thousand Year Leap: 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World…both books are about the Founding Father’s opinions of government. Now while both stress the importance of personal religion and spirituality, of the societal importance of marriage (which anyone with half a brain has to admit) the closest either comes to what modern social conservatives consider important is when in Skousen’s book he points out that the Founding Fathers would not be for government money paying for abortion. That’s it. That’s all I can find of two well researched authors (who I would wager are more socially conservative than I am)…the most the Founding Father’s would care about modern social issues is the economic side of it. That’s probably because if you stop to think about it this motley crew of misfits, smugglers, drunks, deists, and other radicals, when asked about what goes on in their bedroom or what happens with their doctor would point you to the 2nd Amendment…and if the point wasn’t made clear enough that government had no right in those issues they’d drive the point home with their musket barrel in your redcoat face.   And before you look to more modern Republicans for your pinnacles of virtues I would remind you that Reagan was divorced and Lincoln, well, it’s the “Log Cabin” Republicans for a reason.  The fact of the matter is that most modern social conservatives would criticize that Jeshua of Nazareth guy for his hanging out with hookers and his obsession with alcohol (to the point of making a whole ritual of it).

This is idiotic.  We’re Republicans.  We don’t trust.  We just admit that a little (very little) government is needed for society to run.  But there now seems to be the Santorum wing of the Republican Party that thinks, per Santorum’s words:

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.” [Italics Added]

Ignoring the fact that Rick Santorum just admitted to knowing less than nothing about history or conservatism…actually no, let’s not ignore that fact, Santorum is about as anti-American as it gets and it is revolting that a man who says such filth could get to any office, let alone a Republican one.  You’ll notice that Rick tries to quote the Declaration a lot when in every speech he mentions the last line “we pledge our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor.” (Odd from a man whose life is all about him and his ego, who is actually one of the few millionaires who doesn’t give to charity, and who has no honor).  He never quotes “life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as one can see from his above quote, viscerally opposed to the “liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” part.

But it’s not just Santorum whose “social conservatism” (I want a better term, conservatism in reference to government has for the last 100 years meant smaller government, social conservatism means larger government).

For instance in Arizona, my home state, there are two laws that just baffle the mind

SB 1359 which states:

12-718.  Civil liability; wrongful birth, life or conception claims; application

A.  A PERSON IS NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES IN ANY CIVIL ACTION FOR WRONGFUL BIRTH BASED ON A CLAIM THAT, BUT FOR AN ACT OR OMISSION OF THE DEFENDANT, A CHILD OR CHILDREN WOULD NOT OR SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN.

B.  A PERSON IS NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES IN ANY CIVIL ACTION FOR WRONGFUL LIFE BASED ON A CLAIM THAT, BUT FOR AN ACT OR OMISSION OF THE DEFENDANT, THE PERSON BRINGING THE ACTION WOULD NOT OR SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN.

C.  THIS SECTION APPLIES TO ANY CLAIM REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE CHILD IS BORN HEALTHY OR WITH A BIRTH DEFECT OR OTHER ADVERSE MEDICAL CONDITION. 

D.  THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY CIVIL ACTION FOR DAMAGES FOR AN INTENTIONAL OR GROSSLY NEGLIGENT ACT OR OMISSION, INCLUDING AN ACT OR OMISSION THAT VIOLATES A CRIMINAL LAW.

Translation into human language: Your doctor can intentionally not tell you about medical conditions that might cause you to get an abortion and you can’t sue him for that lie of omission.  WTF!  Let’s ignore all the social concerns about ethics of aborting a child with severe diseases because people will never listen to reason on that, they’re in whichever camp they’re in…notice, however, that this law is a direct attack on capitalism.  You have a contract with your doctor.  The contract is you pay them; they give you correct medical advice.  This bill condones violation of contract, effectively little more than fraud and theft (I’ll take your money, but not give you what you’re paying for).  This is what we have government to stop, not to condone!  So social conservatives show they only stand for the quantity of life, none of the liberty and human dignity that is implicit in capitalism and democratic-republicanism.

Or try this one HB 2625.

It’s two fold.  First it lets any company, not just religious ones, exempt out of paying for contraceptives. I’m a capitalist, so I’m fine with that part. I don’t think companies should be forced to pay for insurance so I’m for tearing down these laws piece by piece.  But then they do something else to the existing law.  On numerous occasions this update of an existing law, they strike out the following phrase:

“A religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source.”

So if your employer finds out you use birth control they can now fire you without fear of a lawsuit?  One, I’m not sure if any court would side with an employer if such a suit were brought to court.  Two, this endorsement of violating a person’s right to privacy is rather disturbing.  Now if you wanted to change the law that an employer can fire you for any random reason they have no matter how insane (before you go to the extreme example I will counter that numerous studies, see Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics to start, show that even racial discrimination hurts the employer more than the employee…if you’re going to fire good workers for stupid reasons, you’re not going to be in business for very long) I would have no problem with that.  But to pick and choose is economically inefficient, but to pick and choose in favor of idiocy…well that just goes beyond rational thought.

Oh and over in Virginia they passed a law that requires women to get a “transvaginal ultrasound” to see the fetus before getting an abortion.  I am not going to go into this one for long as I couldn’t easily find the bill text and there is conflicting reports on exactly how bad this is (the left wing media makes it sound like something beyond rape and the right wing media makes it out to be a gentle massage…shame on both sides for not providing me with some reasonable information)….but given just how uncomfortable the procedure sounds (gentlemen, switch it to transurethra to get an idea) I’m willing to say that in all likelihood this is a stupid bill.  Most Americans would want an ultrasound, a 24 hour waiting period, maybe even a counseling session with a professional (a real professional, not some hack) before getting an abortion; even a die-hard pro-choice person like myself is not going to say that this is a small issue that should be taken lightly or without consideration.  But there’s a difference between running the ultrasound wand over a belly and sticking the wand up a person’s genitals.

So called conservatives, don’t you see the hypocrisy of this?  Of the government mandating objects be put into people’s bodies.  That’s about as intrusive as a government gets.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.  These so called conservatives are really just big government liberals, using the government to enforce their will. And if they are not stopped in this party they will sink it (or worse, I fear that after a summer of $8 a gallon gas the GOP could run a sock puppet against Obama and win…even Ayatollah Santorum might stand a chance against this idiot.  And I really don’t want to live under the regime of a man who not only whole heartedly believes like Obama that government should be deeply involved in the economy and pick winners and losers, but also feels the government should enforce his psychotic Puritanical views on a form of Christianity Christ would have condemned to no end.)

Now, granted, the left is partly to blame for this.  They keep fanning the flames of ultra-liberal social policy in people’s faces. Sex-ed to kindergartners.  A pile of paper work for students to get a band aid, forbidding them access to aspirin…but the condoms are in a basket for all to take.  Forcing people to pay for birth control when they don’t want to (I have no problem with you buying birth control, when I’m in a relationship I insist on using it, but I’ll split the bill with my partner and not ask you pay for ours, you do the same and don’t demand we pay for yours).  Same goes with abortion, you can have it, I don’t want to stop you, but don’t ask that I pay for it.  But just because the left is constantly trying to shove government into this, that does not excuse the right reacting with the same level of idiocy.

Now, all that said, a real social conservative would not want government involved in social issues. They would be for a large church presence in society, they would be for encouraging others to attend some form of spiritual life, they would conduct their own lives with temperance and prudence (in all aspects of their personals lives) and encourage others to do so.  But they would never demand that government enforce that. Conservatism is supposed to be a belief in liberty, a belief that government is only to stop immediate and severe threats, not to impose the standards that we live by, but to provide the safety and freedom necessary that we can choose to live by those standards.  True social conservatism is not using government to force others to live by our codes of conduct, but to live them ourselves and by our example and civil argument with individuals encourage others to do the same

1 Comment

Filed under Arizona, Capitalism, Charity, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Founding, Gay Rights, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, People Are Stupid, politics, Rick Santorum, Tea Party, Tyranny

Taking a very brief break from politics

Campaign season is burning me out just a little.  So I’m going to try (emphasis on the try part) to take a short break on politics for a few days (maybe a week)…

 

But let this suffice until after the Arizona/Michigan votes as all encompassing commentary that will probably fit any day for the next month.

 

Mitt Romney said some very conservative things today.  He was largely ignored.  The left wing media pulled some clips out of context and made him seem heartless.  The right wing media also pulled some clips out of context, ignored his entire record, and called him a liberal.

 

Rick Santorum said some crazy ass things today.  That or he announced that he actually works for The Onion  and they wanted to see how long people would believe an actor trying to parody the villains from a Dan Brown novel could keep it up before someone called him on it.  Oh and I’m sure the devil had something to do with it.  Oh most of the left wing media will continue to ignore all of his insanity, and the right wing media will continue to ignore his life-long act that seems hell bent on restoring the Soviet Union here in America…but you know with an added theocracy flavor.

 

Newt blew the good will he built up in the last debate by opening his mouth today.  Yes we all agree he comes up with wonderful quips during a debate but then he opens his mouth outside of a debate and you remember what a sleazy piece of crap he is.

 

Ron Paul said something very brilliant about economics today…and then totally blew it by talking about foreign policy.

 

Eric Holder did something illegal today as he does every day that ends in “y.”

 

Barrack Obama did something dumb today.  And he wasted millions of dollars in tax money today.

 

Marco Rubio, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Allen West, and Michelle Bachmann all said something brilliant, conservative and true today.  They were promptly ignored by everyone.

 

Bill O’Reilly, nice guy, said something today that shows he did not take enough classes in economics.

 

Joss Whedon wrote something Shakespearianly brilliant today.  This has nothing to do with politics, but it is a fact.

 

China, Syria, Iran, Pakistan and N. Korea did something unspeakably evil today.  Obama became their best friend.

 

Israel again ran the odds of waiting until next January when they have support or just getting it over with now.

 

Hollywood greenlit a crappy movie that should be burned even before it is filmed.  Again nothing to do with politics, just a daily fact of life.

 

Both sides in the Syrian conflict once again showed that they’re both evil.

 

Paul Krugman said something astoundingly stupid today.

 

 

There, I promise you that this will cover everything for at least the next week (if not month)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Capitalism, Conservative, Election 2012, Government is corrupt, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Obama, politics, Rick Santorum

Some people are like slinkies…

…not good for anything… …but they provide a pointless distraction.

So over the last couple of days liberals of all stripes have called me and friends of mine cold, lacking in empathy, privileged (because apparently using reason to judge a statement makes you a privileged member of the upper class…this does not speak well of the intelligence of the 99% if this statement were true) and heartless for critiquing the numerous, pointless, pathologically riddled  with lies and half truths, and nothing but  worthless whines of all the schmucks who claim to be “the 99%”  (who strangely tend to endlessly piss off the 47% who actually pay taxes).

So let me give a blanket critique of the “99% whiners”  because I can guarantee you that each and every one will fall somewhere in this critique.  Why do I feel that these people need a complete, total dressing down?  Well first because I remember reading in the Bhagavad Gita:

“Charity given for the sake of righteousness, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness. But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.”—Bhagavad-Gita  Ch17. 20-22

And I find giving to people who whine and choose to not improve themselves, but demand others pay for them to be quite literally the “unworthy persons” warned about in this point.  Intelligent religions over all of history have made a distinction between giving for the sake of helping people improve themselves and just giving because they want (or does no one remember that you’re not supposed to give a man a fish) .  But still they feel you should give them anything they want because I have and they don’t…because they think they are entitled to my empathy and compassion because they were born, because I am under some order to love my neighbor…well guess what, because I can actually read I know I am advised to “love my neighbor as I would love myself” and let me tell you I am very critical of myself when I succumb to my worst habits, my worst inclinations, and my worst faults.  People who don’t love themselves, but ask me to feel compassion for them are the most rank hypocrites.  But why do I say they don’t love themselves…well generally rational self-interest, the love of yourself that this guy 2,000 year ago advocated (I’m sure he was a disgusting egotist for such a suggestion) tends to mean people take care of themselves, to better themselves, to have some concern for their well being…or at least to work in their best interests.

So let me ask about all the people who claim to be in “the other 99%”, have they acted always in their best interests?  (Now I will admit I do not meet all of the points I’m about to go over…but I’m not asking for sympathy.  You can be a good person and not do these things…you cannot be a sympathetic one and not meet all of these requirements).

 

Let me ask, did you graduate high school?

Cause the other 99% percent seems to suffer from a rather bizarre level of unemployment.  Now the people who have the highest levels of unemployment.  I hate to say this but a lot of these 99%’s are not exactly singing the virtues of their education while they’re complaining about unemployment (not all but a lot) which makes me ask if they’re unemployed because no employer would legitimately be insane enough to hire them if they had a choice.  Which is made all the sadder because, as a high school teacher, I know how unspeakably easy it is to get a high school diploma.  Really.  With schools, charter schools, alternative schools, online schools and GED you have to try to NOT get a diploma.  It takes work–Lots of work—to not pass high school.  Yet around 16% of this country manages to do it.  Oh, yes some of you might argue about the quality of the diploma (I have no argument there, only to say that given how low that quality is, it’s kind of sad when you can’t reach that bar) or the schools are not set up to teach students…to the latter point I would say that I would bet that even in the worst school in America there is one teacher there who actually does give a shit and if you went to them with an honest desire to learn, a drive to do whatever they asked, and willingness to be helped they would help anyone who came to them.  THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR NOT HAVING A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR THE EQUIVALENT.  And before I could even possibly feel sorry for someone I need to see that they have the brains and self respect for even the most bare bones level of education.  Yet I don’t see a lot of 99%’s talking about their education…

Which brings me to my second question, did you go to community college, a trade school, or state school?

This is tied to the first.  If you don’t have the desire for self improvement, why should my money or the money of the 1% go to you?  Getting an AA at a community college is possible, even on a minimum wage salary.  Same is true of a trade school.  It will take time, but it is possible.  So when I see all these people who say, “I worked for 30 years”  I always have to wonder what were they doing those 30 years.  The signs are designed to elicit sympathy, so if they were doing something like nursing, or teaching, or getting an education they would include that.  But they almost never include what they were doing.  Would full disclosure of what you were doing not elicit sympathy?  But back to schooling, anyone if they scrimp, save and work for it can get an AA or trade school degree which would make it far more unlikely that they would ever be fired and make it far more likely that you will get a new job easily if you were fired. Anyone can do it and anyone with a half functioning brain knows that education provides a safety net.

Do you like your job and don’t need anymore education.  Fine.  Commendable.  You did what we recommended to find something you like and do that.  But you knew that staying in that one position, not constantly improving yourself, not making yourself more skilled, not seeking a better job or position came with a risk and that risk was that when the shit hit the fan you were the most expendable person around.  There is nothing wrong with not seeking more education than the job you enjoy needs…but don’t come crying to me.  You took that risk.  I take lots of risks, I don’t ask anyone to be held responsible for them but myself.

Why do I put state college there?  Because a lot of these people on these 99% pictures list their tuition debts at levels far exceeding what a state college could cost to a state resident (even with room and board).  This means they chose a private school or an out of state school knowing what the cost would be.  Yet, somehow, as implicit in their whining is they think their debt is too high.  Well if it was too high, go to a state school.  I went to a private school, but I was under no illusion that I would be tying an albatross around my neck for the next 30 years—and I’d do it again in a heart beat.  It was worth it.  But don’t complain to someone else because you don’t want the bill for the services you used.  Don’t want high college debt?  Go to a cheap community college, get your AA then go to a state school for the BA.  If you’re working fulltime you won’t be more than a high car loan worth in debt.

Let me ask did you get a degree in a practical skill or a hard science?

And a lot of these whiners who complain about their college debt also bitch about not having a job.  Which is odd because the unemployment rate for college graduates is around 4.4%.  So I have to ask, what did you get your degree in?  Was it sociology?  Women’s studies in relation to Enlightenment culture?  A Master’s degree in Music theory?  What possible degree did you get that makes a high school graduate a more appealing hire?  I got a B.A. in English with a minor in Education, I knew that this qualified me to teach English and not much else, good thing I wanted to be an English teacher…but I got a degree in a field I wanted to go into and I knew there was a reasonable need for the profession.  What worthless liberal arts degree did you think it was a good idea to drop 60K on…because I can promise you if we split that 4.4% into hard science degrees and Liberal arts, the hard science ones would be much lower than 4.4%.  You wanted to study what you wanted to study.  Fine, it’ s your right.  But when you have given yourself a skill set that makes you unemployable you should learn to live with the consequences of your actions and not whine to me about it.

Did you refrain from having children until you were married?

Oh, here is a big one for the people whining about their lives in “the other 99%”  they bitch about child costs but very often I do not see reference to a spouse.  I know some wonderful women who had children before they got married and who are doing well in life (strangely they don’t whine a lot about things being other people’s fault), but I get the feeling they’re going to not only tell their own children, but society in general, having children before marriage is really, really dumb.   I would even go as far to say that having children before you’re relatively financially stable is a questionable move, but let’s deal with the more egregious problems.  Having children, married or not, employed or not, makes your life infinitely more complicated and difficult.  More rewarding, certainly, but infinitely more complicated.

And I’m sorry but I can’t feel sorry for people who have children when they’re not ready.  It’s not like it just randomly happens without any personal choice (okay yes there are two exceptions, one involves rape and then you have my instant compassion and desire to help you, and the second way usually also comes with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh…but these are the exceptions, not the general rule) on your part being involved.  Yes, are the deadbeat dad’s also to blame, hell yes, and I will instantly support a law that says that dead beat dads who don’t pay should have the very organs that got them into this mess surgically removed…but I don’t see many 99% people arguing for more personal responsibility, so that’s neither here nor there.  You made your bed, you sleep in it, don’t ask me to subsidize your bad choices and I won’t ask you to subsidize mine.

Let me ask did you work hard at your job before you were fired?

Oh so many of these people who say, “I am the other 99%”  seem to have lost their jobs.  Oh boo-hoo.  I know some people have lost their jobs because their companies went under, but if they were competent I think a good many of them got new jobs.  And other people are fired because they refuse to go along with the incompetence/unethical behavior of their superiors, and again if they were competent they probably got a new job relatively quickly.  But you know what, most people who get fired get fired because they’re the worst person on the job.  Businesses that need to fire 1,000 people don’t fire their 1,000 best employees—no they tend to try to fire their 1,000 worst employees. (Unless it is a union job and then they are required to go by seniority.  But I don’t see many people identify themselves as “the other 99%” being against such corrupt union practices, in fact if anything I’ve see n nothing but support for unions.  And well it’s a little hard to feel compassion for someone who loves their destroyer.)  So I really have to ask, every jackass who complains about A. losing a job and B. not being able to get a new one, did your prior work ethic and skill set have anything to do with those things?  Because even in this economy I have a really hard time thinking that someone with a good education, a strong work ethic (which breeds strong recommendations from your coworkers), and dedication can’t find a job.  Yes it may not be as good a paying job or even one they really want, but it’s a job, and people with good work ethics tend to find those jobs.  So really, can you tell me straight faced you were the best employee the company had and that despite your skills and work ethic you lost your job.  Or is it that these whiners who worked for 20 years and were then laid off were laid off because they just sat in that one job for 20 years, becoming complacent and letting their skill rust, seeking only to meet the bare minimum of work…a minimum which during economic hardships gets reset at a level higher than they’ve ever given.

Let me ask do you have friends?  Real friends?

I am the world’s biggest asshole.  There are days I make Greg House look like a cuddly puppy.  And I know without a doubt that if I were to lose my job or my apartment or come down sick that in addition to my family I have at least a dozen friends who would take me in and do whatever was in their means to help me get back on my feet if I needed it…as I would do for them without even thinking.

How few real friends must these people have to have no one to fall back on.  How bad are all of these people that they have to whine that the rich should have their wealth stolen from them.  I’ve always noticed that when I complain about these people on their blogs that so many of the friends of these self reported “other 99%” are quick to call me heartless and unempathic for not wanting to share my money for someone I don’t have any respect for…well where were you when your friend was in need?  You’re quick to chastise me for not wanting to share my hard earned money with someone I dislike, did you so graciously share every dime you could with your friends?  Did you stop going to the movies to help pay for that extra $20 for your friend’s chemo?  Did you cut back on dining out?  Did you make up the spare room for them so they wouldn’t have to pay rent?  There are friends in my life who I will put myself in debt for to help them, because they are worth it.  Where were you for your friends?  Or is beating up on people who use logic instead of blind unquestioning corrupted empathy the extent to which you will go?  With friends like you…

 

Let me ask, do you have character? 

Obviously the mere act of whining states no.  But let’s ignore this for a moment. The fact of the matter is that many of these people shade facts, use half truths or out right lies to drum up sympathy.  All of it is ethically equivalent to lying.  And anyone who engages in it is totally without character.  Let’s use the most recent picture I’ve seen to make the rounds as an example.  (And I’m using screen shots from his blog instead of just links…because I’ll be honest, he strikes me as the kind of guy who would go back, edit the facts, and then call me a liar).

He uses the phrase “part time” to get sympathy because we all think of part time as less than 40 hours of work…a technical definition is 30 hours or less.

He says here in his picture that the insurance he was getting wouldn’t cover his treatment of cancer.

Yet on his blog he states:


He was not “part time” in any conventional sense until after his diagnosis.  So that’s a half truth at best.  And at 60 hours he must have been making more than the limit that Arizona aid requires.  So let me ask you what is a fair limit?  How many people should be allowed on state and federal aid.  Give me a dollar figure of where the line should be?

He outright lies when he says churches won’t help.

So they did  help up to a point.  Yes could they get the money in time, no, but this guy says he has stage IV cancer…it takes time for churches to raise money for charity, they can do it, but just because you can’t have it now does not mean churches can’t and aren’t willing to help, they’re bound by the same laws of economics everyone is.  (Laws that state it would be much easier to raise money for charity if it weren’t for the fact that Americans are being beaten down with massive government regulation and taxes, you know what the 99% is demanding).

But my personal favorite is his implication that his minimum wage insurance wouldn’t cover his treatment.  Why do I love this one…well…this one from his blog announcing that he has cancer…

It’s so hard being a pathological liar when you don’t have the entire DNC there to help keep your lies straight.  So which is it?…is it that the insurance wouldn’t cover it (which in reality, I have my doubts, most plans, even crappy, will always cover the removal of a tumor…they just won’t cover the chemo and radiation because those treatments actually have an obscenely low success rate…especially on Stage IV cancer…but who knows it could be a really, really crappy insurance plan) or is it that you stopped paying for insurance of your own free will (he looks to be in his 40’s which would makes this an incredibly dumb move, given how after 40 your chances of major disease jumps, no matter how little he’s getting paid).  It’s one or the other, it can’t be both.  Either you had crappy insurance or you stopped paying for it.  Being a liar is so difficult when you have to keep all your lies straight.

(I could do a whole blog on how he seems to be saying he hated the pay cut that saved the business from bankruptcy and by extension everyone else’s job…but let’s ignore his gross lack of economic understanding for the moment).

Did you maintain a healthy community life?

This one is actually part of the friendship question. As Aristotle observed no one can live completely out of society and be considered a good person unless they are a beast or a god.  And there are remarkably few who can live with only a few close friends as their primary contact.  Most people need human connection to be considered a good person…so if you shunned society for so long, why is it society’s responsibility to take care of you.  Seems rather selfish and self-serving….but I forget I’m the egotistical and unempathetic one.

Did you start saving from an early age?

Really there is no excuse for this one.  If you didn’t save you’re either an idiot or knowing taking a risk hoping that whatever you are putting your money into will pay off.  If it’s the latter you wouldn’t bitch because you knew it was your fault and your fault alone.  If you’re an idiot, well, as you can guess, I’m not inclined to sympathize with you.

Oh and a lot of these people have a lot of medical problems.  Cancer seems to the biggest one.  Strangely, unlike every cancer patient I’ve ever seen they’re awfully vague about what they have…they describe having cancer and then describe symptoms that sound like benign cysts.  They say they have cancer….but if you can track down their blog they use the technical term for a throat doctor…which makes me ask how much did you smoke?

So before you want me to feel sorry for your disease let me ask some other things:

Do you ever habitually smoke or drink?

Lung cancer is one of the 3rd most common types of cancer up there (when you add in all the other cancer that smoking can increase the odds on the whole smoking related thing because it’s the number one killer).  Now if you smoke or drink I do not look down on you.  I understand it’s a wonderful feeling.  Hell, if I could afford the habit, I would look like a sixth member of the Rat Pack with the amount of alcohol and nicotine I would be putting in my body.  But guess what, I would blame only myself when I got diagnosed with a disease caused by my habits.

Do you over-eat?  Do you exercise?  Did you not lead a sedentary life style?

I’m sorry but a lot of diseases are heavily related to lifestyle and asking me to pay for medical treatment that was the direct result of the fact you did not care for your body…I’m having a hard time caring.

Now if you have a disease or condition that is no fault of your own, of course I feel for you.  I mean I wouldn’t expect someone who from childhood was deaf and blind to be able to write books and take care of herself…oh wait.  Or someone who had their neck broken to be expected to learn to breath on their own again without the help of a machine and make it a goal of walking again…oh wait.  Or someone with a degenerative neurological disease to make major contributions to science and beat all odds by living to 70…oh wait.  Damn, is it just me, or are there enough cases of people with a debilitating disease overcoming the challenges that disease brought and showing us the best of humanity not by whining others should take care of them, but by doing what no one thought they could, that it makes it hard to take the major whiners seriously.  My heart goes tends to go with one group and not the other.

Did you abuse drugs?

Kind of a no brainer.  But given the amount of crack pipes they found at Zuccati Park, I feel the need to mention this one.  I do believe that people can recreationally use certain drugs and not have it damage their life…but most of the time that is not the case, and if you feel the need to engage in this kind of activity don’t expect me to feel sorry for you. (And of course there’s that little hypocrisy about the money spent on drugs that could have gone to savings or self betterment). 

And finally do you learn and grow…or do you whine?

I believe that all of life is a giant classroom from which we are supposed to learn from.  And the best lessons are the hardships, the crucibles that show us what we are made of, and what, if we choose to, is the best within us.  Choosing to whine about it on the internet.  Not exactly what I would call learning.   Frankly, even ignoring this point I doubt anyone who claims that they are “the other 99%” could claim that they have not made the mistake I have detailed.

I know some of the people who whine and bitch and moan about their problems when they read this will wish I got to experience their hardships.   They’ll wish I lose my job.  They’ll wish I get cancer or some other debilitating disease.  Bring it on.  I’ve dealt with unemployment before with grace and honor.  I can do it again.  As for disease…well I had to die of something, I accepted that decades ago, and because it will not come as a shock I guarantee you I will not whine or say that it is unfair or that others should help me because they have more than I do. I promise you that in my death I will have more honor, courage, and virtue than those who claim to be in “the other 99%” have in their entire lives.

Now will all of these apply to everyone, no…but you show me someone who over time earned a college level education when times were good in a practical field, who always gave their best and excelled at work, who lived a healthy lifestyle and didn’t engage in behavior that was utterly lacking in common sense who is in on hard times but still trying to support themselves, looking for any job, because no job is below them, or has come down with a debilitating disease, I have and will help them in any way I can.  I have not seen one person like that claim “I am the other 99%.”

7 Comments

Filed under Arizona, Capitalism, Charity, Death, Economics, Education, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Free Will, God, Government is useless, Happiness, Individualism, Law of Intention, Long Term Thinking, Love, People Are Stupid, politics, Purpose of Life, Selfishness, Welfare

Books for Conservatives: Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

So as I try to get through the 11 (Perhaps 12? I don’t know if the new book is as philosophical as the rest yet) book series that is Goodkind’s Sword of Truth in as short a time as possible I come to the fifth book, Soul of the Fire.

The book itself is more toned down than the previous volumes in the series. There are no major battles between armies, and few even between individuals. As a whole the thing reads more like a political thriller than epic fantasy as our heroes Richard and Kahlan try and convince the Kingdom of Anderith to join their D’haran Empire (the people dedicated to freedom, choice, capitalism, and individual rights) instead of siding with the invading Imperial Order of Emperor Jagang (the people dedicated to savagery, communism, genocide, dehumanization of the individual, and slavery…you know like socialist government in history). Strangely enough this is a difficult choice for the people of Anderith. Oh and Richard has to deal with the problem that magic is disappearing from the world. So there’s that problem too.
And while the story is exciting as is, as always, the theme, the Wizard’s Fifth Rule, that raises the Sword of Truth books above mere epic fantasy.

The Wizard’s Fifth Rule is:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

Further elaboration in the book states,

“People will lie to deceive you from what they truly mean to do. Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.”

This is a lesson that society has very sadly, and very dangerously forgotten. What people say and what they are, are often two different things. This is true of all levels of our lives. The friend who says they’re always there for you, but never is; the boss who says he has your back, when he does everything he can to undermine you; but nowhere is this more an important fact of live than in politics. Politicians are the poster children for the violation of this rule.
Politicians will say one thing and then do another.  This is not a shock.  Yet the way people the world over, it is more than apparent that people listen more to the words and the campaign slogans more than the actions of the politicians they are voting for.  This would be a good time to remember the Wizard’s First Rule: People are Stupid.  (The Second and Third Rules also seem to be in play here as well).  But while there is the obvious contradictions between words and actions suggested in on the first reading of this law that we should all pay attention to there is something more here.  There is the long term view suggested by the rule: “Watching the actions they take” actions, plural, are what need to be watched.  Why?  Because sometimes the most villainous of people will perform some actions that are in line with their words only to cover their long term goals.  It’s their true intentions that you have to look for, to look for the intent behind the actions.  That can sound a little paranoid, but it doesn’t need to be as you just have to look at the whole career of any politician to see if there is an obvious pattern of lying and corruption.

As this rule deals more with personal actions over a period of time, it requires that my examples focus more on a single individual than on a more general concept.
Case in point John McCain. A so called Maverick. He says he’s a conservative but his key piece of legislation is McCain-Feingold a piece of legislation that limits the first amendment right of the average person while only allowing for an increase in the rights of big money special interest to create and fund multiple PACs. A Maverick literally to this day owned by alcohol special interests and who was involved in the Keating Five scandal back in the 80’s (he took millions of dollars in campaign contributions to tell regulators to back off of a corrupt S&L). Mind what he does not what he says.  A man of such high character that he divorces the wife who waited for him while he was sitting in a prison for the first rich floozy who came along. Yes this is a man whom we should all support. He’s in the pocket of special interest, takes bribes from them, influences regulators and passes laws for them and cheats on his wife. Indeed this is a man who lives up to the image of character and principle that he presents in every single commercial. Such deep abiding principles that his position on how to deal with illegal immigration seems to change with the ocean tides. “Watching the actions they take will prove their true intentions.” Not to mention such acts as supporting the cowardly withdrawal from Somalia without first trying to defeat the warlords there. At the same time he argued to supply Kaddafi with weapons through the early 2000’s but then back the genocidal butchers who oppose Kaddafi, thus giving moral support to the worst president in history. “Deeds will betray a lie.”  And dare we forget that he let every single one of his campaign people go out and blame his VP choice for why he failed. As a politician there has not been a single thing this man has done that even remotely shows intelligence, character, ethics or even human decency. In his personal life leaving his first wife is bad, the idiot of a daughter he raised is even worse. There is nothing to like, admire, or even tolerate about this man.  But then again maybe they saw what this country failed to see, a bleeding heart liberal that will always support evil whenever he finds it.

But he says he’s a Maverick. He’s says he fights for the common people [while limiting their rights]. He says he stands for conservative values [while having never supported a single one]. He says he is worthy of bearing the Republican mantle, while supporting not a single one of its supposed principles (there are a lot of weak willed liberals in the Republican party, but none worse than McCain). A Maverick (who will do anything to gain the praise of the liberal press…he’d even sell his soul, if he had one).

I go off on him because he actually got the Republican nomination (and to go off on Obama’s hypocrisy would just be too easy). The same people who are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” in the Tea Party are the same ones who voted for this degenerate excuse for a homosapien. And they may say they didn’t vote for McCain in the primary…well fine then they voted for Romney who did nothing to portray himself as a conservative or Huckabee a liberal on economics and lunatic on religion (the worst both worlds). And people wonder why I have my doubt about the long term success of the Tea Party for bringing about conservative values (however any comments about the Tea Party being racist are beyond ridiculous.

Why? Because they believe what he said, not what he had done.

Liberals are just as bad. They heard “hope” and “change” and voted for the dimwit over a woman whom, while I don’t agree with everything she does, had a track record for results and you knew where she stood.

The moderate are the worst. The ones who say Obama ran as a moderate. Are you kidding? Just because he said he was a moderate, give me one act, just one that would suggest such a thing.

The problem is that, because of Wizard’s First Rule, people listen to what people say.

Of course the worst is when you have a mixture of results. I am going to go to the most extreme example to make a point, not because I don’t have more moderate examples.

Adolf Hitler. He gave Germany a solid economy. He gave Germany a well built infrastructure that stands to this day (even after being bombed to hell). He gave people jobs, a purpose, and a passion for life. This is the worst example of the Fifth Rule the person who provides results with his words…but at what cost? In “Soul of the Fire” it’s a control of the lives of a kingdom for a generation…with Hitler it was only at the cost of enslaving entire ethnic groups (followed by killing them) and invading and butchering every surround country. A small price to pay for economic stability….or so the German people deluded themselves into thinking. In personal charity the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing, but in politics the two cannot be separated.

Venezuela supports Hugo Chavez because he gives them cheap gas, to hell if it’s at the cost of their freedom. Bolivia supports socialist Evo Morales because he doesn’t take a large salary, to hell if he’s destroying what little economy the country had. Russia supports Putin because he reminds them of when they had a myth that they were a strong and relevant country, to hell if it’s at the cost of all the freedoms they wanted. America supported Obama because he promised them stuff, to hell if he can’t deliver.

In each of these cases they may say or do thing that say they are honorable people who are doing what is right…but to look at the consequences in each case reveals nothing but destruction and chaos.  Whether it’s intentional or just incompetent doesn’t matter, people, and especially politicians, need to back up their words with action and results, nothing else matters.

Actions and their results are the only thing that matter when judging a person, and especially a politician. Yes there are exceedingly few examples of people we can point to who always do the right thing for the right reason, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about such things.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Art, Books, Books for Conservatives, Conservative, Foreign Policy, Literature, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Popular Culture, Problems with the GOP, Reading Suggestions, Sword of Truth, Tyranny, War on Terrorism

Laws for the GOP to pass: Sane Teacher Certification

I don’t know if this could be a federal law or just have to be 50 state laws. Let’s have it be both so that we never have to deal with the BS I’m about to deal with.

So I went to go renew my teaching certificate today. It was a fairly painless process but I was reminded that I need to get more hours of “professional development” before my next renewal in six years.

Let me run down what I’ve had to do so far to get my credential in Arizona.

I had to have a credential in another state (I had two, California and Washington, they have since expired). To get the Washington Credential I had to earn a degree in English, minor in Education, pass a background check, and complete a student teaching program.

I had to have 60 hours of Structured English Immersion training. (60 hours of learning how to help students for who English is not their first language…it boils down to having some idiot tell you to treat high school students like elementary school kids with lots of games and visuals. It was 60 hours of my life that was wasted and I’ll never get back. Actually more than 60 if you count travel time.)

45 more hours of professional development. More being told to draw and act out and play with high school students. I have never used a single thing I learned in any of this because to do so would be to insult the intelligence of the slowest student I’ve ever had. I’m an English teacher, not one of these hours was dedicated to learning anything about English, grammar, writing, or literature above a 3rd grade level. Given that I primarily teach Juniors and Seniors this was all but another 45 hours of my life that was wasted.

I had to take a test on English Literature. The SAT’s were harder. And given that I have a degree in English from one of the best colleges in the nation, this too was insulting. 3 hours of my life wasted. Plus the money I had to pay to take the test.

I had to take a test on teaching skills. It was half vocab test and half what would you do in this situation questions. A trained monkey could have passed it. More money and more time wasted.

And my favorite, I had to take a test on the U.S. and Arizona state Constitutions. Because that’s relevant to my job as a teacher of English (primarily British literature if I have anything to say about it). There was actually a question about the article in the AZ state Constitution that deals with mining rights. HOW IN THE NAME OF GOD WOULD AN OBSCURE ARTICLE IN A STATE CONSTITION BE RELEVANT TO MY SKILLS TO TEACH?!!!! More time and money wasted.

Just about the only legitimate thing I had to do since leaving Washington was A) complete two years of teaching full time, and B) get my background check renewed.

Everything else was an utter waste of my time.

The tests, the hours of professional development, all worthless. Now I might respect the tests if they had been relevant to teaching, but they weren’t. Just about anyone who went to college should be able to pass those tests (of course I do live in Arizona, home of ASU)

And just to show that this isn’t just me bitching, here’s another person pointing out the system is broken. 

Teaching is an art, not a science. There is no way to test on paper whether someone is going to be a good teacher or not. Yes, there are some basic classes that everyone needs. They need classes in their subject area. They need at least one class in every subject they will not be teaching (the four subject primary and secondary education are English, History/Social Sciences, Science, and Math). They need classes in general psychology and developmental psychology. They probably need at least one class in acting because good classroom teaching involves putting on a persona that is not necessarily who you are in real life. You need a course or two in curriculum development and implementation. And maybe a course on the history and philosophy of education. There, that’s your major and minor right there.

But no, states all seem to think you need more and more and more useless “professional development” which develops nothing. You know what actually develops a teacher? Teaching! Actual teaching. It’s an art form; the only way you get better at it is by actually doing it, followed by moments of reflection and discussion with other teachers. But certainly not so-called professional development! Now I’ve been lucky and the schools I have worked for have provided this requirement for their teachers (at great cost to the company) but if you aren’t so lucky then you have to take college courses at your own expense (courses which will likely teach a teacher nothing!). So really it’s all a big scam for the colleges and states, they get to charge money for all these courses.

Do you think all this worthless education, much of it at your own expense, is going to drive out some people from the field? Probably does. Not the great teachers, no. They’ll stay because to them teaching ranks up there with breathing and water as basic needs. And it doesn’t drive out the incompetent teachers either, because they usually know they have nowhere else to go…but it drives out all of the mid-level teachers—the ones who may never inspire a student, will get the job done and teach something. You think that may have any negative repercussions…like not being able to fire the morons because you can’t replace them with anything other than another idiot.

Trust me teaching hasn’t changed much in the last few thousand years. One of the single best forms of teaching is called Socratic Discussion, it was a form of teaching used in fifth century BCE by Socrates, it hasn’t changed much since then. You don’t need to be caught up on studies or professional journals; you just need to be passionate and self-reflective.

All these piles of requirements and tests and professional development and hoops and money are a farce. States need to change their requirements to be as follows:
A) B.A. or higher in the field you’re teaching (or at least it’s tangentially related).
B) An education minor
C) A background check every few years
D) Completing a student teaching program
And for that you get a provisional certificate.

Add on three years of teaching experience and you’ve got a life time certificate because this is not something that needs to be renewed ever. If you knew it at one point you will know it until senility fully sets in.

States, get rid of all this BS….oh and make all teaching certificates for all 50 states completely reciprocal in all states.

1 Comment

Filed under Arizona, Congress, Conservative, Education, GOP, Government is useless, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking, Teaching, Unjust legislation

McCain needs to go

One of my favorite bloggers “Dirty Sex & Politics” has a wonderful post on what a worthless SOB John McCain is.  Apparently the RINO not only was one of Obama’s chief defenders in getting rid of Gaddafi, he was also  one of the biggest backers to arm Khaddafi with lots and lots of weapons.  (McCain apparently was so stupid he didn’t realize that the some 50 ways to spell Qaddafi in English does not mean they are different people.)  Fair warning the blog isn’t G-rated.

2 Comments

Filed under Arizona, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Libya, Problems with the GOP, Reading Suggestions, War on Terrorism

Polls Numbers and Spin

This is an interesting way to spin something…

In the latest Gallup numbers, Gallup states:

Obama Rates Higher Than Boehner, Reid on Debt Situation

Fine that’s all well and good, I have no great faith in the intelligence of people so I’m not greatly shocked by these numbers…but then I actually looked at the numbers.

Now when you look at it, yes Obama at 41% is higher than Boehner (31) and Reid (23).  But is it fair to say that Obama rates higher?  No it’s not.

Because all you have to do is look at the next column.  52% disapprove of Obama and Reid and only 48% disapprove of Boehner.  It’s only a 4% difference but it’s very telling in both attitudes of the nation and the way that Gallup seems to be spinning data.  The title could have said more Americans disapprove of Democrat handling of debt debate.  Or you could have said over half of the nation disapproves of Obama’s handling of the debt ceiling…but we wouldn’t want to do that.  Why?  Because one of the most basic truths of American politics is that, for the most part, we don’t vote for politicians, we vote against them.  America didn’t vote for Clinton, they voted against Bush.  America didn’t vote for Bush, they voted against Clinton’s lackey Gore.  They didn’t vote for Bush as much as they voted against someone as slimy as Kerry (and his running mate who was a paragon of virtue, class and moral character).  And they certainly didn’t vote for Obama as much as they voted against a continuation of liberal RINO’s like Bush in the form of a senile corrupt Senator from Arizona named McCain.  The Tea Party might actually be one of the few times people voted for someone (but mainly because the Tea Party was AGAINST so many things).

So what does this mean?  It means that 52% of the country is against Obama.  And it’s not just a wishy-washy part of the country.  You’ll notice that while with Obama there were 8% of people who had no opinion (because this 8-15% seems to perpetually live in a cave and no opinion about anything!) there were 25% who had no opinion on Reid.  The higher number on Reid is indicative of people who really don’t follow the news and thus have less of an informed opinion on the second tier characters in the story of politics.  But notice that when you take out the clueless the same amount of America (52%) is very, very upset with Obama and the liberals. People who have something to vote against are more likely to turn up at the ballot box than people who have something to vote for.  Over half the country seems to disagree with Obama and his party over the debt, which means they disagree with him on the economy…the economy?  Isn’t that going to be the single largest issue in the next election?  Yes, yes it is!

Over half the country wants him gone.  A poll like this reveals that this is an election for the Republicans to lose (which they could easily do if they nominate Palin) and not one for Obama to win.  Numbers like this reveal that Obama’s only chance is to either dive to the center (which an arrogant narcissist like him won’t do) or pray that the GOP nominates a complete moron who will shoot themselves in the foot (given every GOP nominee since 1988 that is still a serious possibility).

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Government is useless, Harry Reid, Obama, Problems with the GOP, Tea Party

Yay! Arizona Immigration Reform!

Lot of fuss over the recent Arizona Immigration Law. I support it. Some don’t. But let me explain why not supporting it is not in the best interest of immigrants.

Life in Central and South America is certainly anything but a trip to Disneyland for most of the population. Further, you probably have surmised, from previous posts, that since my goal is always to reduce suffering, the suffering caused by deporting this group of people who are often simply seeking a better life, is uncalled for and should be stopped. However, you’re probably also thinking of the economic costs from border patrol, identify theft, influx of criminal activity, and social services is simply too much of a burden for the American people to have to deal with. All these are valid points, however they are all irrelevant because they mostly take only a short-term look at the problem.

The long-term view needs to look for a way that both the countries of Latin America and the United States can benefit. Now with the refugees from most third world nations, there presently is not way of fixing those countries’ problem right now. North Korea is not going to be fixed whether one freedom fighter stays or leaves, the problems are just too deep. However, most of Latin America’s problems while large, are not insurmountable. For the sake of argument I’m simply going to use Mexico as my preferred example for the rest of this section. What are Mexico’s biggest problems? Corruption, lack of economic opportunity, crime. Now most of Mexico’s crime problems are related to the drug cartels, not going to be solved in one easy step, but if economic opportunity goes up and corruption goes down then the cartels will be less of an issues. As for lack of economic opportunity, I’m sure a good portion of international corporations would love to invest in Mexico for labor cheaper than US workers, but your current average Mexican salary isn’t that low if you consider all that government interference and corruption. So that leaves corruption. Now unfortunately this problem will not ever be solved as the Mexican citizens most driven to find a better life have the option of seeking a better life in the US by coming in illegally.

The current system of allowing illegal immigration in America takes some of Mexico’s most driven people and relegates them to pseudo-slave class in America. Yes, I am saying that if you are arguing to let illegal aliens stay you are arguing for a slave class. Make no mistake I’m calling you a racist. Sadly, for those of you opposed to closing the borders, we got rid of the Confederacy and what it stood for about a hundred and fifty years ago. Am I calling you a racist because it’s the fun new insult for everyone in political debate, I’m saying it because to accept the current system is to suggest that people from Latin America somehow can’t have a working democratic-capitalist system, which anyone can given enough work and support from surround countries (support which we’re not giving right now). Arguing for illegal immigrants right to be abused is not exactly arguing for their best interests–it’s arguing for your cheap head of lettuce and cheaper bill for staying at the hotel, as they won’t have to pass on the minimum wage cleaning costs onto you. If the borders were secured and closed it would have negative effects on both economies, but lets not look at the immediate effects to the US or Mexican economy, because those become irrelevant in the long run. In the long run, with nowhere to go but to fix their own country, with not imposing a constant brain and labor drain on Mexico, the populace of the country would be forced to solve it’s problem, forced to become a more just, more efficient, and probably a more capitalistic country. The end result being two countries with economic and political prosperity, instead of one leaching off the other for its slave class. Are lettuce prices going to go up somewhat? Yeah, but cheap lettuce is a bad argument for the perpetuation of a slave class. Is there going to be emotional suffering in the initial stages of deporting this large population of people who are reasonably trying to seek a better life? Yes. But the suffering of a few million people now with the result of the entire population of the country being prosperous and successful for generations to come somehow does not balance out the suffering imposed on the same populace by perpetually keeping them at the lowest rung of the population economically—by letting them be in the US while we let them suffer in poverty. Long term the only just answer is to close the borders and help Mexico solve its problems.

Now once the borders are closed and secure, I’m not saying there cannot be any kind of worker program, but such a program must be predicated on either short-term work only (say you can only come over for three years and not bring family, thus keeping your long term allegiance to Mexico and working to see Mexico improve itself) or must be predicated on becoming American citizens (this way you could bring family over). This lack of loyalty to either country that the current system perpetuates is destructive to both nations in the long run, because the people involved feel no need to work for the betterment of either society, and thus leads to the decay of both.

But the fact of the matter the only way to solve the legal immigration is if we remove the option of illegal immigration. I’d like to say that Americans are willing to solve problems before they are forced to, but sadly that just isn’t the American way. Until illegal immigration is stopped, legal immigration won’t be reformed.

Now is the new law harsh. Yes. But I don’t see any other way than closing the border that will A. End the slave class and B. Bring Mexico up to first-world status and stability. Now if you have a better way that will work (because Americans don’t solve things until they have no other choice) please tell me. But, don’t say that not actually acting and hoping for reform that won’t come (remember the Moron-in-Chief has put immigration reform off for another year…probably a good thing as he would only come up with “reform” that would only perpetuate the slave class) is a plan. It’s not. It’ merely perpetuating the problem.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Illegal Immagration, Long Term Thinking